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View Full Version : Big Publisher to Author: "We'll market your book through USENET."



Bartholomew
08-17-2012, 09:01 AM
http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120717/22485119738/if-this-is-what-big-publishers-call-promotion-no-wonder-theyre-trouble.shtml

This article terrified me. I've love some other perspectives on it.

ETA - Apologies if it's already been posted. I just now saw the date, so it makes sense that my cursory scan of this forum's first page didn't yield an existent thread.

Kerosene
08-17-2012, 09:16 AM
...sour.

This is part of the reason why I might just skip the querying and go straight for self-publishing.

Old Hack
08-17-2012, 10:23 AM
There are a lot of holes and inconsistencies in that article; I'm pretty sure it's already been picked apart here. Will, don't let pieces like that put you off trade publishing: it's sensationalist and inaccurate.

Kerosene
08-17-2012, 10:44 AM
Will, don't let pieces like that put you off trade publishing: it's sensationalist and inaccurate.

It's not like I've been turned away because of someone's complaints. This is just another nail for me. I know this seems like someone picking at one particular problem and blowing into a major difficulty.

One of the main reasons why I want to self-publish, is not because of the traditional system in place, but because I'm more of a "Hobby Writer" than a hardcore Novelist and self-publishing appeals to me better.

And my WIP runs in a series. *Grinds head against the wall* It's hard to sell when the entire premise of your novel isn't met until the end of, not the first book, but the second one. Argh!

Medievalist
08-17-2012, 10:53 AM
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250855

Old Hack
08-17-2012, 11:02 AM
It's not like I've been turned away because of someone's complaints. This is just another nail for me. I know this seems like someone picking at one particular problem and blowing into a major difficulty.

Don't let it affect your decision at all: the article has no bearing at all on the real state of affairs in publishing.

You might just as well let the price of canned tomatoes inform your decision to self publish.

shaldna
08-17-2012, 11:16 AM
I read this before and several things raised questions for me:

1. if it's all true, why not name the publisher? (she only seems to have published one book though, and it's with Warner, so I assume it's them)

2. Trunk is clearly a very smart business woman who has founded several sucessful e-companies - and now she's claiming that she wasn't smart enough to ask questions before she signed a contract?

3. She says she got paid all of her money and then 3months before publication she got a call about marketing - now, don't most pulbisher pay the last paortion of the advance 'on publication' - which in my experience usually turns out to be a month or so afterwards? How usual is it for a writer to have been paid all of their advance so early?

4. I find it very hard to believe that a publisher was only starting to think about a marketing campain a couple of months before publication date.

5. Isn't this the same Penelope Trunk who caused all that fuss a while back with her infamous 'miscarriage' tweets? That got her international exposure for her and her blog? Why is this relevant? Well, it was in 2009 - a time when Trunk had just been removed as CEO of her company and her career was flagging a little. She's clearly very skilled at getting attention when it's needed.

6. Now that she has a new (self published) book out, she's attacking trade publishing, as is the current trend to do. Ra-ra-ra, self publishers are revolutionaries etc etc. Forgive me if I've heard it all before - usually when someone is trying to promote something and it's an easy way to stir up debate in the writing and publishing community.

7. There were some odd figures trotted out - like 85% of books being sold online, the timeline is strange.

It's just not adding up as far as I'm concerned, and I feel, personally, like it's a bit of a fabrication and the most likely senario is that her publisher didn't want her new book, so they, and the rest of publishing, are clearly the evils.

Seems I'm not the only one who thinks this : http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/i-dont-buy-penelope-trunks-story/

Bartholomew
08-17-2012, 12:36 PM
Thanks, guys! :)

LindaJeanne
08-17-2012, 01:47 PM
Wait, the name Penelope Trunk is ringing a bell. Can't place it...


http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250855

Ah yes, THAT'S where I remember the name from. :gone:

eqb
08-17-2012, 02:19 PM
How usual is it for a writer to have been paid all of their advance so early?

Depends on the publisher and the contract. Viking paid me half on signing and half on delivery & acceptance.

But otherwise, yeah, the article raises all kinds of red flags.

James D. Macdonald
08-19-2012, 12:21 AM
h (http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120717/22485119738/if-this-is-what-big-publishers-call-promotion-no-wonder-theyre-trouble.shtml)

This article terrified me. I've love some other perspectives on it.



My perspective? Bullshit through-and-through.

Filigree
08-19-2012, 01:06 AM
Yep, that's the Trunk I remembered.

My opinion: a bullshit article not worth citing, meant only to drive traffic to the author's site.

Cyia
08-19-2012, 01:26 AM
3. She says she got paid all of her money and then 3months before publication she got a call about marketing - now, don't most pulbisher pay the last paortion of the advance 'on publication' - which in my experience usually turns out to be a month or so afterwards? How usual is it for a writer to have been paid all of their advance so early?

In my experience, it varies by publisher. 1 publisher does an 80/20 split (60/20/20 split - 60% on signing, 20% on acceptance of MS and 20% on publication. The other does quarters (25% on signing, acceptance, hard back publication, paperback release). None of them do 100% up front, and I can't imagine that would be the norm anywhere. The potential for loss is too great if the author and editor can't agree on a final MS.

4. I find it very hard to believe that a publisher was only starting to think about a marketing campain a couple of months before publication date.

She might be referring to a publicist assignment, rather than full marketing. Marketing is usually in place early in the process (again, from my experience only), but an actual publicist gets involved at the 3 month mark.



.

Bartholomew
08-19-2012, 01:51 AM
Wait, the name Penelope Trunk is ringing a bell. Can't place it...



Ah yes, THAT'S where I remember the name from. :gone:

Oh. Oh, dear.

djf881
08-19-2012, 02:32 AM
Penelope Trunk's e-book came out six weeks ago. She has 4 customer reviews and her sales rank is 148,000. I looked at her book's page a few weeks ago when her book came out, and it was in the same place.

While she may be doing better selling her book at business conferences or on her own website or something, it looks like she's sold fewer than 100 books on Amazon since her release.

veinglory
08-19-2012, 02:46 AM
Our other thread covered who the publisher was and why there are some holes in the author's story, not least that the book she promised them was to be over 300 pages and the one she self-pubbed was less than 50.